Re: Is there a better recipe for draft success?
posted at 12/11/2011 9:45 AM EST
Reconstructing football smarts sounds the most difficult.
Game speed, however, is easy to reconstruct, along with playing strength.
Just because you mastered the bench, doesn't mean you play with great leverage. Many of these players spend more time in the gym than they do in practice, and bench pressing, while distantly related to playing offensive or defensive line, is not exactly the same. It's a different stance, you are not horizontal, and your feet/hips/knees are as (or more) important than your arms and elbows and shoulders. I mean, one, just one good coaching technique is teaching your young lineman to keep their head and bodies upfield. If you are moving forward in a straight line you are maximizing the focus of your effort.
A man pushing straight forward will almost always outpush a guy who is wavering from side to side as he pushes. Thus he has better functional playing strength than the other player, who might have ten more reps on a bench.
Also, game speed is easier to assess on film than it is by watching 40yd dashes. The problem, for me, is that the 40 dash is not really relevant to most positions. Other than DE's, who starts a play as if they were in blocks? So much of what makes a good 40 yard dash, and can make one player seem much slower in timed relation to another, is his ability to master the form of sprinting off of block. This has little to do with how fast this player will run flat-footed, with other people on the field, while he is trying to recall his assignment, hold a football, dodge a tackle, etc.